- What does it mean to be an ACP?
The Advanced Collaborative Professional designation signifies a commitment to Collaborative Practice and an advanced level of practice and expertise.
- Practically, what does the ACP designation add to my practice?
It will allow you to assume carriage of more complex matters by having acquired the necessary tools and skills to work with professional colleagues to address complex legal, financial and emotional issues in a problem-solving negotiation.The ACP designation introduces more advanced concepts and information critical to performing better in one’s profession but also to understanding the roles and issues of the other professionals. The standards are all the more essential when professionals are not in a full team model as the standards will enhance the professional’s understanding of the client’s financial, emotional and legal concerns.
- Does participation in a local practice group count?
Yes, in fact, it is a requirement of the ACP designation. Continued and frequent participation in and contribution to your local practice group serves as the foundation to a truly effective Collaborative Professional.
- How are the ACP standards different from the basic requirements for a collaborative professional?The programming requirements in the standards are broader and go into greater depth than what is usually offered at regular trainings and practice group meetings. Although it is open to individual practice groups to offer the programming set out in the ACP standards, most groups will find it challenging to provide all of the programming requirements. The OCLF is committed to working with and delivering the required trainings through service providers, practice groups and on its own.
- What are the requirements?
In order to acquire the ACP designation, you must be a member in good standing of a practice group that meets on a regular basis, a member of a professional body subject to disciplinary measures, and carry professional liability insurance. In addition, you must have completed Levels 1 and 2 (introductory) training and you must have completed at least eight collaborative files in the previous five years.As more complex cases are being done using collaborative practice, the need for domestic violence and power imbalance training has become necessary. The OCLF held province-wide consultations and examined the OAFM (Ontario Association of Family Mediators) standards in this area. As a result, all applicants for the ACP are required to take 21 hours of domestic violence training, seven hours of which are dedicated to process design for collaborative files.Lawyers are required to attend at least 6 hours of advocacy in collaboration training and 13 hours of additional collaborative training, mediation training, advanced interest-based negotiation training, advanced communications skills, family dynamics or relations, and/or training on the impact of separation on children and families.
Family Professionals are required to take 12 hours of family law training and 7 hours of additional collaborative training, mediation training, advanced interest-based negotiation training and/or advanced clinical training.
Financial professionals are required to take 5 full days of education on the financial aspects of divorce and separation in Ontario, and 19 hours of additional collaborative training, mediation training, advanced interest-based negotiation training, advanced communication skills, and/or family dynamic training.
Once you have acquired the ACP designation, the ongoing requirement to maintain the designation includes 24 hours of professional development and the completion of a certain number of collaborative files within every two year period: six files for lawyers, four files for Family Professionals and two files for Financial Professionals. Some hours are credited for being a board member of a Collaborative Practice Group or an OCLF board member, mentoring within a practice group, and for being a trainer. Hours are credited for attending IACP and OAFM conferences and education sessions within a recognized practice group.
- Where are these workshops and courses offered?
The OCLF website will provide an ongoing list of available trainings which may be offered by private service providers, OCLF trainers, a local practice group, the annual OCLF conference and the IACP conferences.The OCLF is also exploring the delivery of some of this programming online to be made available to local practice group members.
- The application process:
The Application process is relatively simple and accessible through the OCLF website. The cost is $350.00.Your Application will be reviewed by the ACP Committee which will make a recommendation to the OCLF Board of Directors.The ACP designation must be renewed every two years at a cost of $250.00.
- RecognitionOnce the OCLF board accepts the application it will issue the designation by way of a certificate and you will be entitled to indicate you have earned the OCLF ACP designation.